Michael Owen is a reference when it comes to English football. A true legend of the country, Owen was a world-renowned striker throughout his career. Despite numerous injuries that prevented him from being at his best throughout his career, Michael Owen is still considered one of the best attackers in England. He was revealed at Liverpool and returned to his home country to finish his career after a one-year stint at Real Madrid.
With the England team, Owen was very regularly called up in the 2000s.
MICHAEL OWEN WITH THE LIVERPOOL FC VINTAGE FOOTBALL SHIRT
Michael Owen was born on December 14, 1979, in the city of Chester, south of Liverpool. His father is Terry Owen, a former Chester City football player.
From the start, Michael Owen was compared to Liverpool striker Ian Rush for his goal-scoring abilities. In the 1990s, he joined Lilleshall, the English equivalent of Clairefontaine school. He stood out in the youth categories.
On May 6, 1997, Michael Owen signed with Liverpool FC while being a supporter of the other club in the city, Everton. In his first season, he played two games and scored a goal against Wimbledon FC.
The 1997-1998 season is the one that revealed him to the world. He scored 18 goals in the English championship in 36 matches at just 18 years old. He played notably alongside Robbie Fowler and Karlheinz Riedle.
Against Sheffield, Owen scored a hat-trick and became the youngest Liverpool player to achieve this feat.
In 1998 and 1999, he was the Premier League's top scorer.
During the 2000-2001 season, Gérard Houiller's Liverpool FC, with Michael Owen wearing the number 10 shirt, had a remarkable season. The young Englishman won the League Cup (also won in 2003), the Community Shield, the FA Cup, the UEFA Super Cup, and the UEFA Cup against Deportivo Alavés.
Michael Owen scored 158 goals in 297 matches wearing the Liverpool football shirt. In 2001, he won the Ballon d'Or at just 22 years old.
OWEN, HIS FAILURE AT REAL MADRID AND HIS END OF CAREER IN ENGLAND
Michael Owen, thanks to his remarkable performances at Liverpool, was coveted by many top European clubs. In the summer of 2004, Michael Owen's transfer to Real Madrid was officially announced for 12 million euros.
His only season outside of England was difficult for the English striker. With Raul and Ronaldo as his main competitors, Owen failed to secure a regular starting spot. He played 45 games and scored 16 goals. While this record in the Real Madrid vintage football shirt was not catastrophic, Owen preferred to return to England to participate in the 2006 World Cup in Germany.
At first, he wanted to go back to Liverpool, but the club was already well-equipped in attack with players like Fernando Morientes, Peter Crouch, Djibril Cissé, and Milan Baros.
In August 2005, Michael Owen eventually signed for Newcastle United vintage football shirt for 25 million euros. He became the club's biggest transfer signing ahead of Alan Shearer. During that summer, he notably turned down an offer from Olympique Lyonnais.
Michael Owen stayed for 4 seasons with the Magpies but only played 79 matches due to numerous injuries. He scored 30 goals during his time there.
In 2009, he decided to sign with Manchester United and took on the iconic number 7 shirt previously worn by George Best, Eric Cantona, and Cristiano Ronaldo.
He won the English League Cup in 2010 and the Premier League and Community Shield in 2011 with the team. In that same year, he failed to come on as a substitute in the Champions League final against FC Barcelona, which they lost 3-1. He played 52 matches and scored 17 goals with the Manchester United shirt.
His last season as a professional footballer, Michael Owen played with the Stoke City shirt in 2012-2013. He played 9 matches and only scored one goal. Owen had scored 222 goals during his club career. His ball usage skills remain a reference for young attackers.
MICHAEL OWEN WITH THE ENGLAND SHIRT
Michael Owen played his first match with the England shirt on February 11, 1998, against Chile. He became the youngest English international player of the century ahead of Duncan Edwards.
He participated in the 1998 World Cup where he scored two goals (one against Romania and one against Argentina). England was eliminated in the round of 16 against Argentina.
He then participated in Euro 2000 where he scored against Romania, but his journey ended in the group stage.
During the 2002 World Cup, England reached the quarter-finals. Owen scored against Denmark and then against Brazil.
In both Euro 2004 and World Cup 2006, England was eliminated in the quarter-finals by Portugal.
In total, Michael Owen scored 40 goals in 89 appearances for the England national team.